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Mental Health Clinic offers online resources, helps people in today’s ever-changing world

Graphic shows a flow chart for which services to seek based on needs.

The 78th Medical Group Mental Health Flight provides services to help those navigating changes in their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (courtesy graphic)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The global coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down for many people.

Since mid-March, many at Robins have teleworked and some have served Robins’ mission at their normal workplace, while others with serious underlying health conditions have remained home on leave. All of which has taken a toll on people.

Capt. Melissa Cable, a clinical social worker in the 78th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron’s Mental Health Flight, said the clinic has seen firsthand the harmful impacts of the pandemic on patients.

“In these specific cases, we have noticed a disruption in normal sleep patterns, difficulty appropriately managing stress, reduced physical activity and poor eating habits,” she said. “This is not uncommon as people have not had the same resources available during the pandemic, but it is important to notice when your habits are negatively impacting your everyday life.”

The Mental Health Clinic is taking care of people by identifying areas of people’s lives that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and making resources readily available to address these concerns.

“The Mental Health Clinic has created the series, “Establishing the New Normal: Common Mental Health Concerns Post COVID-19,” which includes problem solving strategies and resources related to sleep, stress, diet, negative thinking/self-talk, work environment, exercise, alcohol and healthy relationships,” Cable said.

The mental health resources are now available on the Robins Air Force Base coronavirus page at https://www.robins.af.mil/coronavirus/. The resources will also be made available on the Robins Facebook page.

Cable said Robins is making these resources available to help people refresh skills they’ve already learned to ensure they can adjust to the demands of the changing environment.        

“These resources are here to help people learn strategies to better manage the areas of their lives that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” she said. “An individual’s resiliency is based on their ability to use their current skills and adapt them to the current global climate.”

In some cases, people may need help that goes beyond what the online resources may provide, and Robins is here to help.

While the Mental Health Clinic and the Alcohol Drug Abuse and Prevention and Treatment program provide treatment for active-duty military members only, ADAPT can provide the initial assessment and referral recommendations for civilian employees that have be referred for services by their leadership.

On the other hand, Robins’ Family Advocacy Program serves both active-duty military members and their dependents.        

Services available at the Mental Health Clinic, located at 655 7th St. in Bldg. 700 at Robins, include mental health assessment and treatment, alcohol and drug use/abuse assessment and treatment, as well as evaluation and treatment for domestic violence, child abuse and intimate partner violence.

The Behavioral Health Optimization Program, also called BHOP, is also available as a first-step in mental health services to all active-duty military members, dependents and military retirees enrolled at the medical treatment facility.

BHOP provides skills and support for mental health needs, and is housed within the Troop and Beneficiary clinics.

To make an appointment with BHOP, contact the appointment line at (478) 327-7850.

If there are any questions about the resources available, individuals can call Robins’ Mental Health at (478) 327-8398, Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., to determine the appropriate resource to meet their mental health needs. 

Family members and/or military retirees can seek mental health services off base using Tricare or another insurance plan. 

Most medical insurance plans provide coverage for mental health treatment, however, people should contact their insurance provider for more information, Cable said.

Defense Department civilian employees can utilize the Occupational Medicine Services psychologist at (478) 327-7590 and/or Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-222-0364.

Whether it’s through online resources or via in-person services, find the help you need today.